Creating Diverse and Inclusive marketing strategies

Tech NationTech Nation 2 min read

It’s quite common to go straight to Marketing and Communications as the output of Diversity & Inclusion. Founders and leaders often ask: “Do we look diverse?” This is an important question, but your real focus should be to create real, authentic positive change within your business. As a result of the work you put into your company’s D&I framework internally, you will come across to new customers, investors and potential partners as an authentically diverse and inclusive business.

For most B2C businesses, inclusive advertising and content marketing is key to generating more demand, as it helps you stand out in a world of advertising where certain demographics are frequently underrepresented. For example, in one global study by IPSOS, 72% of people stated they felt most advertising does not reflect the world around them. 63% said they don’t see themselves represented, and 60% said they don’t see their community of friends, family and acquaintances represented accurately. 

Internally, companies looking to create more diverse & inclusive marketing also need to address the makeup of their team. A 2020 Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey revealed that last year, 88% of the marketing industry was White, with 4% identifying as mixed race, 5% as Asian and 2% as Black. However, there are steps marketeers can take to address challenges to diversity within their teams. Here are some things we encourage you to start considering:

D&I marketing checklist

The World Federation of Advertisers have created a number of guides to help marketers actualise more diverse and inclusive campaigns, including a free guide to potential areas for bias in the creative process. This guide looks at how you can create a more inclusive brand, from the business and brand challenge all the way through to the evaluation and analysis of your marketing campaigns. There are a number of questions in the guide to help your team be more inclusive in their marketing efforts. Here are some additional questions to support your thinking: 

  • If we did an audit of all of your marketing materials, would they practically represent the people you are selling to?
  • How has your target audience been defined? Is the thinking based on data or assumptions and stereotypes? 
  • Are your marketing materials inclusive, considering elements like accessibility, language and representation? For example, do you add captions to your social media videos along with alternative text (also known as alt descriptions)? 
  • Based on your understanding of your audience, have any particular groups of people been deliberately excluded? 
  • Do your marketing materials stereotype a particular characteristic or community, either visually or through the language used? 
  • Are the images used tokenistic? Is there an opportunity to consider new photo libraries, such as Storyblock’s Re:brand
  • Is your campaign authentic to your product?
  • Is your campaign insensitive within the context and timeframe in which you are viewing it? 
  • Could your campaign or content be taken out of context and misconstrued? 
  • Are you communicating openly and transparently about the diversity within your organisation? 

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